Perry Mason: Season 3, Episode 16

The Case of the Wary Wildcatter (20 Feb. 1960)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
8.1
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A man is caught on camera killing his wife by pushing her over a cliff in a car. The photographer blackmails the man bleeding him dry as the man cons others by overselling ownership in a wildcat well. The con man is murdered himself.

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Title: The Case of the Wary Wildcatter (20 Feb 1960)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
...
Douglas Kennedy ...
Lucky Sterling
...
Madelyn Terry
Byron Palmer ...
Charles Houston
Lori March ...
Paula Wallace
King Calder ...
Floyd Gordon
Harry Jackson ...
Roger Byrd
Richard Gaines ...
Larry J. Blake ...
Officer (as Larry Blake)
Anthony De Mario ...
Dealer
...
Court Clerk
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Storyline

Freelance photographer Roger Byrd takes telephoto pictures of oil wildcatter Charles Houston pushing a car over a cliff with his wife Evelyn in it. Houston pays Byrd blackmail over several payments bleeding him dry, then offers a share in a prospective well, but Byrd refuses. Houston then reluctantly sells big time gambler Lucky Sterling 50% of the action for $20,000 to pay off Byrd. Byrd double-crosses Houston and offers to sell the incriminating photos to Paula Wallace, Evelyn's sister, who intends to pay Byrd with money from her 50% of Houston's well. Paula consults Perry Mason but does not tell him the whole truth. Incredibly, the 180% oversold wildcat well comes in a huge producer. Charles flees and is found dead in Byrd's apartment by Paula, shot with Evelyn's gun. Someone locks her in the apartment and turns out the lights forcing her to escape via the fire escape but she is caught by the police. Paula is charged with murder, and Perry has to sort things out. Written by richardann

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Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

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Release Date:

20 February 1960 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Goofs

Roger Byrd films a car being pushed off a cliff. When the car tips over and starts its descent, the viewfinder image cuts to a long shot taken from a vantage point far from where Byrd was standing. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Maybe not the best story- but great courtroom action.
28 May 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Roger Byrd, an novice nature photographer, is filming wildlife along a roaming meadow. Mr Byrd hears some commotion coming from the road above and points his camera toward the area. He sees a man, Charles Houston, placing his unconscious wife behind the wheel of a car right before pushing the car over a canyon cliff.

Mr Byrd then blackmails Mr Houston or he will release the pictures to the district attorney's office. Mr Houston, who has half interest in an oil well, has to over-sell his portion to pay Mr Byrd. Everything will be alright if the oil well does not produce - but to his dismay the oil well is a gusher. Now people that brought into his scheme- Lucky Sterling a big time gambler, Madelyn Terry the gambler girlfriend and Paula Wallace his dead wife's sister- will soon discover that he is unable to make the claims that he sold.

But before all that can happen Mr Houston is found shot in Mr Byrd's apartment. The police catch Paula Wallace running from the building and with the help of a witness claim that she murdered Mr Houston.

Even though there seems to be much activity in the story, by the time we get to the murder, the show has become cloudy with all the characters and the strange occurrence of events. But it picks up quite nicely when we get to the courtroom scenes.

Perry is at the top of his game when he faces Hamilton Burger at the bar. The show picks up pace with the exchanges and testimony in the courtroom. This action, plus the acting of the actors, saves this episode from digressing into boredom. A good watch for everyone and will have you guessing right till the end.


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